August is finally here and now that the lockdown restrictions have been lifted (although how long for is anybody’s guess), many of us are hitting the road for a staycation or a day trip since foreign travel is too much of a risky proposition.
As summer temperatures in the United Kingdom can sometimes reach 30°C, the heat is bad news for car tyres. Whilst most of us will check our tyres in the cold winter months, how many of us consider hot weather tyre safety?
In addition to the heat, tyres have to contend with some pretty poor road conditions these days. If your area is anything like ours, you’ll be able to list at least half a dozen potholes which the council really should have fixed months ago!
So, if you really want to have safe and stress-free trips this summer, you need to ensure that your tyres will survive the pummelling even that shortest trip can put them through. Below are some hot weather tyre safety tips to keep you and your family safe on the road.
Hot weather tyre safety tips
Check tyre pressure daily
Summer heat can cause over-inflation of tyres as the rubber generates more friction and heat on the hot roads. Over-inflated tyres are dangerous as they could cause tyre blowouts.
Not only that but tyres can become under-inflated due to leakage in the valves. Under-inflated tyres are also dangerous as they affect the braking and traction properties. Make sure you check tyre pressure daily during the hot season. We keep a tyre gauge in the back of the car for on the spot checks.
Observe tread depth regularly
Although 1.6 mm is the minimum legal tread depth in the UK, it is advisable to have tyres with a greater tread depth during summer. This is because the heat and poor road conditions have adverse effects on the tread. If the tread depth is below the legal standards, the tyres should be replaced.
Balance and align tyres properly
Since you are likely to be on the road more during summer, you need to have your tyres balanced and aligned properly. Poorly aligned and imbalanced tyres affect the suspension system, leading to dangerous pulling on one side.
The tyres will also wear out unevenly, causing premature ageing. Well balanced and aligned tyres contribute to your safety and comfort on the roads and also save you cash in the long run.
Check general tyre condition regularly
High temperatures combined with poor road conditions could also cause internal and external damage to tyres. The sidewalls are more prone to damage since the heat makes the rubber softer than usual.
Foreign items on the roads can also prick the tyres and cause untold damage. Damages on tyres should be repaired immediately and worn out tyres replaced for safety and optimum performance of the car.
Although many roads in big cities like London are generally in good condition, some of the busy roads in the outskirts are in poor conditions. Heat and poor road conditions can damage tyres. By proactively checking the condition of your car tyres and taking the necessary remedial measures, you will definitely be assured of a safe and sound drive this summer. If you are in any doubt, ask your local garage for a quick checkup.
And you wouldn’t want to be stranded in the heat on the motorway, would you? Or pulled over by the police if the tread on your tyres is below the legal limit. Neither would make a holiday!